In French, there are two ways to introduce a relative clause with a preposition.
How to use a relative pronoun with a preposition in French
Look at these sentences:
La fille derrière qui je suis assis est belle.
La fille derrière laquelle je suis assis est belle.
The girl behind whom I'm sitting is beautiful.
Le fauteuil, sur lequel j'ai laissé mes lunettes, est très vieux.The armchair, on which I left my glasses, is very old.
Jacques, devant qui je suis assis, est mon meilleur ami.
Jacques, devant lequel je suis assis, est mon meilleur ami.
Jacques, in front of whom I'm sitting, is my best friend.
Les lunettes sur lesquelles j'ai marché sont complètement cassées !The glasses on which I stepped are completely broken!
To introduce relative clauses with a preposition (on/behind/with/for...which), there are two ways in French:
- preposition + qui (whom), which can only apply to living things
- preposition + lequel / laquelle / lesquels / lesquelles (living or non-living)
Note: these forms agree in gender and number with the object they refer to
ATTENTION: you cannot use preposition + quoi, either for living or non-living things. Only the options above are correct in French.
Note: you can NEVER place the preposition at the end of the clause like in English, so while you could say "The girl that I'm sitting behind", you would never say 'La fille laquelle je suis assis derrière / La fille qui je suis assis derrière.'
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